Wisconsin History


If you've ever had canned ham, you can thank one of the first meatpacking companies to produce it: the Cudahy Brothers. The company has been in business since 1892, and its founders can be credited with establishing the city as central place for industry and community.

Alliance Francaise

From Solomon Juneau to Jean Nicolet, there are many French names we recognize in Milwaukee.

Anne Leplae and Mary Emory of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee want Wisconsinites to understand the French history and culture that permeates in Wisconsin beyond this week’s Bastille Days celebration.

Courtesy of the Delavan Historical Society

Wisconsin’s history with the circus dates back before we became a state. During much of the 19th century, Wisconsin was a mecca for circuses and menageries, at one time hosting more than 100 such companies during the winter months. Many of these companies were looking for a place to call home that had abundant land, fresh water, and a central staging spot for the summer season for all of their animals and employees.

Remembering Wisconsin's World War II Prison Camps

May 9, 2016
Milwaukee County Historical Society

Europeans have just finished celebrating their 71st Victory in Europe Day. The day marks the official end of World War II in Europe. What you might not know is that it was a significant day for many enemy soldiers in Wisconsin as well.

The state held thousands of prisoners of war.

Milwaukee County Historical Society assistant archivist Steve Schaffer says there were 36 prison camps in Wisconsin during World War II. In Milwaukee, 3,000 Axis prisoners lived at Camp Billy Mitchell, where Mitchell Airport now stands.

Tamara Thomsen / Wisconsin Historical Society

Wisconsin is home to an internationally significant collection of artifacts that most of us will never see first hand.


A decision by Governor Scott Walker is still pending as to the future of a proposed Menominee casino in the Kenosha area.

Eleanor Peterson, WUWM

As fall approaches, many Badger fans are heading out to Camp Randall to support their football team. However, about 150 years ago, the land didn’t house a football stadium. 

Eleanor Peterson, WUWM

History is increasingly becoming accessible to users online. 

Mary Nohl's Eccentric, Eclectic House to be Relocated to Sheboygan

Mar 27, 2014
ribarnica, flickr

Tourists will soon have to travel to Sheboygan to take in the Mary Nohl's art, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Mitch Teich

For almost seventy years, Betty Betenz of Palmyra has been the area’s unofficial Potato Pancake Queen.  Now into her tenth decade, Betenz has decided to make sure her iconic recipe remains a part of Wisconsin cuisine for years to come.  Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich explains:

Wisconsin Historical Society

As the largest outdoor museum of rural life in the country, Old World Wisconsin demonstrates how our immigrant ancestors lived through heirloom gardens, antique machinery and painstakingly restored buildings.

Project Preserves Local Latina Voices

Oct 11, 2013
Somos Latinas Digital History Project

Across the country, the story of Chicana history is being collected in a project called "Somos Latinas," created by Chicanas Por Mi Raza.

Phil Roeder/Flickr

Soldiers' Letters Illustrate Wisconsin's Military History

Aug 8, 2013
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Tumblr

One family’s scrapbook became a powerful resource for Wisconsin’s involvement in the Civil War.


As we mark National Lighthouse Day, we hear about the technology that saved lives and built empires.